The innerspring mattress has been around for years and is still one of the most popular types of beds out there. There are several reasons for the enduring popularity, but overall, their affordability and ability to please different types of sleepers have been crucial to their success.
Newer mattress designs, like modern hybrids, can offer an excellent sleep, but they often come with a high price for that comfort. Innerspring mattresses, on the other hand, are affordable, widely available, and the latest models are much more plush and comfortable than their predecessors.
Innerspring mattresses offer a cool sleep that other beds struggle to rival, certainly those that are mostly comprised of memory foam.
A good innerspring mattress will also provide a responsive, flexible, and comfortable sleep and is particularly favored by couples due to these properties. There’s a large amount of goodwill when it comes to this more traditional mattress.
Our guide to the best innerspring mattresses this year features everything you need to know, including our top picks and what to consider when purchasing one.
Our Top Picks: Summary
The Best Innerspring Mattresses: Our Top Picks
The Saatva is the ultimate in luxurious comfort, and Family Living Today readers get a $75 discount.Check Price
Why we Picked It
The fast-growing Saatva has made themselves known in the luxury mattress online space. Their flagship innerspring Saatva Classic is indicative of the same high-quality products that have allowed them to expand so rapidly.
The Saatva Classic mattress features a cover made of organic cotton with an antimicrobial treatment, which is followed by a top layer of high-quality memory foam.
The top layer is supported by individually wrapped microcoils that contour to the body and help to reduce motion. Under that is the primary support core that consists of steel Bonnell coils to maximize the durability of the mattress. This dual coil support system helps to promote a healthy airflow that should ensure a cool sleep.
You’ll find dedicated edge support in the Saavta Classic, with a foam encasement around the perimeter that further improves durability. It also prevents sleepers from potentially falling out of the bed at night.
The Saavta Classic comes with three different firmness options: “Medium Soft“, “Medium Firm“, and “Firm“. There are also two available profiles: 11.5 and 14.5 inches.
Keep in Mind
The Saavta Classic is a quality product that is hard to fault. However, it may still be worth considering that innerspring mattresses don’t last as long as other types of beds.
In a Nutshell
- Responsive dual steel coil support system
- Three levels of firmness settings to choose from
- 120-day trial and free white glove delivery
Get a top-quality innerspring mattress for a fraction of the cost with the Allswell.Check Price
Why we Picked It
Allswell focuses on providing an excellent quality mattress for those on a budget. That doesn’t mean this bed couldn’t compete with some of the best innerspring mattresses out there due to its more affordable nature. You’ll find nothing but quality materials in this pick.
The Allswell features a polyester and spandex cover that has a stretchy and breathable feel to it. The quilted cover contains gel memory foam that helps to relieve any pressure with its cooling properties.
The top layer at the top consists of 2 inches of polyfoam, a bouncy material that should mean changing positions in the middle of the night is as easy as possible.
The support layer follows that and is made up of a system of pocketed coils. These coils are individually wrapped and work to provide support with optimal airflow. At the bottom is a high-density foam base for extra stability.
It’s fair to say that the value offered with the Allswell mattress is hard to beat.
Keep in Mind
It’s probably not the best choice for light sleepers in a couple as the motion isolation is relatively weak.
In a Nutshell
- Well-built mattress with outstanding value for money
- CoolFlow gel foam provides a breathable sleep
- Increased edge support around the perimeter
This luxury mattress offers plush cushioning and also sleeps cool.Check Price
Why we Picked It
The WinkBed mattress offers a luxurious sleep for all types of sleepers, including those who sleep on their side, back, stomach, or use a combination of these. It’s a traditional bed that is well made, supportive, and comfortable.
The WinkBed mattress features a cover with 100% natural, eucalyptus-based “performance fabric.” In other words, it sleeps 30% cooler than linen, is softer than silk, and helps to wick away heat while you sleep.
The top layer of the mattress is a quilted pillow top with “Hypersoft Foam” inside of it. After that 2 inches of support foam are followed by 7 inches of pocketed coils. Like most current innerspring mattresses on the market, these are individually wrapped to help reduce motion transfer.
There are four firmness options available for the mattress: soft, luxury firm, firm, and plus.
Keep in Mind
The coil system will promote good airflow throughout the mattress, but it won’t be great at isolating motion.
In a Nutshell
- Four firmness options available
- Great for all types of sleepers
- Breathable micro air-springs for a cool sleep
How We Chose the Best Innerspring Mattresses
With the number of options for buying a mattress online growing at such a rapid pace, it can often be hard to know where to even begin. When it comes to innerspring mattresses, that decision can become even harder.
With so many choices, which innerspring mattress is right for you? How do you know which company to trust with all those bold marketing claims?
Fret not, as that’s why we’re here—to cut through the noise so you can make sense of it all.
How exactly do we decide which innerspring mattresses are the best of the best? To ensure consistency in our selections, we always consider the following whenever we review an innerspring mattress:
High-quality material can endure the passage of time, is good for our delicate planet and does what it’s meant to do. A great innerspring mattress features material that is durable and breathable. The coil gauges are well balanced, and it provides sufficient support for multiple types of sleepers. Ideally, these materials must also be responsibly sourced.
Nobody wants to replace their mattress frequently. We look for innerspring mattresses that provide long-term comfort without the need to keep shopping around. Innerspring mattresses generally last 5.5 years, but we’re most impressed with those that go above and beyond this.
Conforming, in the context of mattresses, means how closely a mattress will effectively hug a sleeper’s body. Each innerspring mattress will offer a slightly different level of conforming, depending on what’s in their top layers. Although a memory foam mattress will often excel here, a great innerspring mattress should still provide an average level of conforming.
A supportive edge is not always the first thing we think about when it comes to mattresses. It’s nevertheless an important consideration for a high-quality innerspring mattress, particularly for those who sleep near the side of the bed or for people who sit on the edge of the bed. Quality innerspring mattresses use strong coils or high-density foam to reinforce their sides.
Edge support in an innerspring mattress might be made using artificial hardening agents. These agents can have a harmful impact on the environment, so naturally, we look for innerspring mattresses that don’t use them.
Innerspring mattresses are known for providing a cooler sleep than other types of beds out there, especially memory foam mattresses. An innerspring mattress should feature very minimal heat retention as a standard requirement. With that said, we’re always looking for those mattresses that offer the most refreshing, cool sleep design possible.
Off-gassing is the unpleasant odor you can smell when you first remove the packaging of a new product. When it comes to innerspring mattresses, we’re looking for those that use materials that result in as little off-gassing as possible. Innerspring mattresses shouldn’t emit this unpleasant odor as much as a memory foam mattress does.
Motion isolation is a particular consideration for couples, especially if one or both partners are light sleepers. We look for innerspring mattresses that do their best to limit motion.
While it’s unlikely that an innerspring mattress will reduce motion as much as a memory foam mattress does, the best innersprings still use specific designs (and materials) to counter this, like pocket coils.
What is an Innerspring Mattress?
The innerspring mattress, considered to be the first “modern” mattress type, features upholstered foundations that are supported by a primary network of interconnected steel coils.
These steel coils were first invented (and used) in 1857 for support in carriage seats. However, it was the German inventor Heinrich Westphal who decided to place them inside a mattress in 1871. It wasn’t until the 1930s that innerspring mattresses saw a surge in popularity and became widely used.
Compared to other bed types out there, innerspring mattresses have some unique characteristics. They offer a firmer bed than a memory foam mattress does, but they don’t tend to absorb motion quite as well. It’s worth mentioning that hybrid innerspring variants can be designed to counter this additional motion.
Some sleepers find that full memory foam mattresses make them too hot and sweaty during the night. The good news is that innerspring mattresses provide some of the coolest sleep available due to their coil structure, allowing air to move around more freely.
Innerspring mattresses typically feature a 2-inch or thinner comfort layer, as opposed to hybrid beds which use thicker layers with more foam.
Innerspring mattresses are generally more affordable than the other types of mattress out there. A conventional innerspring bed often has better edge support around the perimeter of the mattress too.
Even all these years later, the innerspring mattress is still one of the most popular choices out there.
Feel of Innerspring
There’s no doubt that an innerspring mattress will feel different from a memory foam bed. In fact, it’s for this very reason that some sleepers will always choose an innerspring when presented with the choice. The question is: why?
It primarily comes down to how firm the bed feels to the sleeper. Innerspring mattresses are more responsive than most beds—meaning they have more bounce—and provide what some people perceive to be better overall support.
It’s the traditional “even feel” to these beds, due to the coils in their support layer, that many prefer. This feeling, of course, is somewhat subjective and is based on the needs of the individual.
The innerspring mattress, in most cases, will offer excellent breathability because the steel coils allow air to move around freely.
Stronger edge support is also common in innerspring mattresses because of the necessity to support the spring structure in its entirety. The benefit is that sleepers will experience the same level of support at any place on the mattress.
Certain sleepers favor innerspring mattresses for their supportive feel, but it’s important to remember that memory foam and latex mattresses will contour to the body much more efficiently.
Types of Innerspring Mattresses
The types of coil construction found in an innerspring mattress will mean that the support, cost, durability, and contouring will be different for each of them.
There are four key types of coil construction which are detailed below:
- Bonnell – Bonnell coils are some of the most common and traditional coils found in an innerspring mattress. The use of them will keep the cost of the mattress down, and they provide an even feel to the bed. However, they don’t tend to isolate motion well, and they are the least durable coils of the group.
- Offset – Offset coils are good at conforming to the sleeper’s body. Offset coils are also highly durable and therefore drive up the cost of an innerspring mattress as a result. They are shaped like hourglasses with squared-off heads.
- Continuous wire – Continuous wire coils are made from one long wire that is looped into springs. Again, they are a good budget option and will keep the price of the innerspring mattress down. However, they don’t offer the best support and aren’t very durable.
- Pocket – Pocket coils are individual springs that are sealed in a fabric pocket and stitched together. Pocket coils provide a very good level of support in an innerspring mattress. They are also great at isolating motion and contour to the body well, but as a result, they drive up the cost of the innerspring mattress and aren’t the most durable coil.
Coil count is less important than you might think, too. Some manufacturers boldly claim that the higher the coil count, the better the mattress—this isn’t true most of the time. There are minimum limits that an innerspring mattress should have, somewhere between 600 and 1,000, but drastically higher counts won’t make a noticeable difference when it comes to comfort and support.
Mattress firmness is often a subjective issue; after all, your version of firm might well be different from another person’s. Firmness largely depends on the thickness of the top layer of a mattress and what it’s made from. With that said, the firmness of an innerspring mattress—and all mattresses—is generally considered on a scale from 1-10.
At the start of the scale (1-2), you would expect to find a very soft bed. It isn’t common to find an innerspring with this level of softness because their top layers are only a couple of inches thick.
Further along the scale (3-4) would be a good fit for light-weight individuals or those who sleep on their sides. It’s more common to find a memory foam mattress with this firmness rating than an innerspring, but they are out there.
The middle of the scale (5-6) is generally your ideal innerspring mattress, although some sleepers might prefer even firmer options (7-8).
After that (9-10) the scale would largely be too firm for almost all types of mattress—it is rarely used.
The firmness of an innerspring mattress also depends a great deal on the coil gauge, which is measured on a scale from 12-18.
Most mattresses range from 12-15, and the higher the gauge, the softer the mattress—conversely, the lower the gauge, the firmer the mattress. A lower gauge is found in most innerspring mattresses.
The coil gauge can also affect the durability of an innerspring mattress. A mattress with a lower gauge tends to be more durable, while a higher gauge tends to be less durable. Again, a smaller gauge would be found in most innerspring mattresses.
Everyone wants their mattress to last as long as possible. The average lifespan of an innerspring is around 5.5 years, but this varies on the specific construction of each.
Innerspring mattresses without a pocketed coil system in the support core, and with a high gauge, for example, would be most likely to sag after just a couple of years of regular use.
The lifespan of an innerspring mattress comes down to two key variables: what the coils themselves are made with and the coil gauge.
A low coil gauge, typically found in most innerspring mattresses, would improve the durability and would be more likely to stand the test of time.
The same could be said about the material of the coils. Offset and continuous wire coils are more likely to last longer than other types.
Pros and Cons
|Innerspring mattresses are widely available and are easy to find.||Innersprings don’t last as long as other mattress types.|
|There’s a great variety to choose from, and there should be something for everyone.||The motion transfer is more noticeable and can be undesirable for certain types of people, such as light sleepers.|
|They’re the most affordable type of mattress on the market, certainly for more basic specifications.||They don’t offer the best support or contouring properties, certainly when compared to other mattresses on offer.|
|Innersprings are easier to move around on; this is especially important for couples.||The springs may squeak, and the comfort layers will sag over time—they generally have poor durability.|
|They offer great breathability and a cool sleep for people who might overheat during the night.|
Who is Well-Suited for an Innerspring Mattress?
While innerspring mattresses don’t offer the best support or very effective pressure point relief, even when you take the differing specifications into account, there are always going to be sleepers who prefer this firmer style of mattress.
Innerspring mattresses are great for those that want an even, traditional feel to their bed with great bounce, responsiveness, and strong edge support.
For example, the average medium-firm innerspring mattress, (a 6-8 on the firmness scale) can be useful to alleviate moderate back pain, and spinal support for back and stomach sleepers would be sufficient.
Heavier sleepers who weigh over 230 pounds would also find innerspring mattresses to be well-suited to them because of the firmer properties on offer.
Couples, in particular, find innerspring mattresses to be an optimal choice for sex due to their bounce. Conversely, this also comes with the problem of noise and motion transfer for couples who want to keep things quiet.
For those that may overheat during the night, traditional innerspring beds also help air to flow freely throughout the mattress. Some innersprings use memory foam in their top layers that is infused with temperature-regulating gel, although these tend to be more expensive.
Of course, if you are simply looking for a good deal on a tight budget, an innerspring mattress will generally satisfy your needs.
Traditional innerspring beds are not going to be that suitable for those that need specific contouring, such as individuals with fibromyalgia.
It’s always worth taking some extra time to compare the different innerspring mattresses that are on offer. When choosing, always keep in mind your personal preferences and the style you are looking for in a mattress.
If you’d like to know more about the other types of mattresses out there, (believe us when we say there’s a lot to choose from), then you can find our comprehensive and independent guides —created with equal amounts of passion and expertise—on the best memory foam, latex and hybrid mattresses below.